Detail from Positivity Carnival artwork

Linett Kamala – Lives and works in  London, U.K.

Linett Kamala is an interdisciplinary artist who progressed to the top of the education profession in an executive position for a multi-academy trust, whilst still working as a creative. Her personal educational journey and how it links with the life stories of others forms the basis for much of her work.

Kamala’s refers to her mainly monochrome expressive text based art pieces as ‘freestyle calligraffiti’. She draws inspiration from calligraphy, Carnival culture, graffiti, music and abstract expressionism.

Her first piece of street artwork dates back to the early 1970s, when as a child she painted a mural on the front of a youth club building in Kensal Green, London.  She went on to graduate from University of the Arts London (London College of Communications) and University College London (Institute of Education).

Kamala has quietly influenced change within the U.K. education system helping staff and students achieve excellence in schools facing significant challenges. As a founding cohort member of The Future Leaders Headship programme in 2006 and speaker at numerous education events, she helped to shape various government policies of the view that ‘every child’ is entitled to a quality education provision regardless of their background and with the right support can be helped to reach their full potential.

In 2016 after 16 years of successful senior leadership in schools and whilst at top of her profession as an executive, Kamala made the decision to spend more time focusing on developing her artistic practice.  Her on-going project ‘State of Education’ takes the British education system as its focus by raising awareness of academic research and educational policies, whilst highlighting forgotten or untold stories. Through making use of current and historical artefacts, as well as educational documents in her work, Kamala seeks to encourage through a restorative lens reflection, conversation, debate and where appropriate, a call for action.

Kamala uses art in a therapeutic way to make sense of her leadership journey within education, particularly in response to the emotionally challenging aspects of her former role of a senior leader. This included having to deal with issues such as discrimination, trauma, violence and the loss of life.

Carnival Arts culture also plays a huge part in her work.  As a lifelong carnivalist Kamala was one of the first girl DJs to perform at the Notting Hill Carnival with her static sound system Disya Jeneration which she is still a member of to this day.  In her TEDx Ladbroke Grove talk ‘Carnival a force for healing’ she explains the positive impact it Carnival culture has on her mental health.

Her passion for enriching the lives of others through art, well-being and education is demonstrated by collaborations on creative projects with numerous organisations spanning over 30 years.

Her typical week is a creating work in her London studio, lecturing at the University of the Arts London, facilitating leadership programmes for teachers aspiring to be senior leaders and inspiring the next generation of artists through her innovative work as an art educator. It is this mixture of interaction which informs and makes her work so relevant.

Kamala is Director of Lin Kam Art, a company which seeks to enrich lives through Art and education via happenings, experiences and programmes, Board Director for the Notting Hill Carnival, President of University of the Arts London Alumni of Colour Association and Member of Somerset House Exchange.

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